Tag Archives: severance

2020 reading list

Once again, this year’s reading list was fairly short, but a little longer than last year, which is impressive given that I had twice as many children to care for! Trust me—reading any books that aren’t for work with little ones at home is a feat. I also read zillions of children’s books and am including Stuart Little on this list because of it’s literary merit.

Severance by Ling Ma

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones

Stuart Little by E.B. White

Severance by Ling Ma

While Covid19 was gaining momentum in China and just barely on my radar, I read Severance by Ling Ma. This is normally not my genre. Not by a mile. But, it’s well written and was gifted to me through an academic mamas holiday book exchange. I was in my first weeks after having a baby, and it was in between semesters. So, found myself with time to read while my baby took those nice, long newborn naps.

Character development: I did not identify with the main character whatsoever until near the end, when she was built up enough that I could see her suffering was human and shared by us all.

Plot: The premise is that a fever, originating in China, steadily makes it’s way through the human race. The “fever” is always deadly, taking 1-3 weeks to kill it’s host. It renders people into a zombie-like state, where they repeat seemingly mundane tasks until they perish by wasting away. The few who remain exist in a strange new world.

It’s a metaphor. It’s all a metaphor. That we’re all zombies going through the motions. That we are our parents’ memories. That existence is a memory. That knowing is memory. Something like that–I’m sure there’s more to it.

***spoiler alert*** below (mild)

severance1

 

Anyway, if you read it, tell me who you think was fevered in the end.